The ‘Views’ articles represent the opinion of the authors rather than being the official stated position of OSP Group Ltd. They are published by OSP Group Ltd to stimulate debate around key issues and challenges facing the UK construction industry.

Elle Kaplan, founder and CEO of LexION Capital in New York has some interesting observations on the key aspects of successful sports people. She narrows it down to seven strategies:

1. Simplify
Keep your eye on the ball and focus on the next play. When faced with a daunting, big project, break it down into components and concentrate on what can be achieved in the next hour and across the day. This builds confidence.

2. Play to your strengths
Each person is good at some things and bad at others so make sure they are doing what they are good at. And try and find out some hidden talents that can help the overall project.

3. Keep feedback channels open
Review performance and welcome healthy criticism so that you can achieve improvements. It’s always important not to brush things under the carpet. Address failings and deficiencies head on and learn from them without indulging in a ‘blame game’.

4. Appreciate the team
Even solo sports stars like Roger Federer have a support team, not just a coach but physio and nutritionist and others; people perform best when their work and contribution are recognised and when appropriate, rewarded, not just financially but psychologically.

5. Co-ordinate the team
Misunderstandings, politics and rivalries between people can lead to disaster, whether on a sports pitch, in a boardroom or on a building site. To avoid them everyone has to understand the big picture and recognise and accept their precise role within it.

6. Prioritise consistency
Naturally consistency is vital. According to Elle, work ethic drives consistency. She cites the example of Cal Ripkin who played 21 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team and holds the record for most consecutive games played, 2,632. Cal summed up his approach, “Any day could have been my greatest day playing the game”. So each and every day on a building site is important and a great opportunity for advance.

7. Visualise success
Apparently this has long been recognised as important in sport. Athletes are taught to visualise not just scoring the goal but the award ceremony. And it’s not just sight, they learn to use every sense to experience the imagined result.
So, it’s time for building site workers to ‘experience’ project completion every day!

Guy Lane, Consultant
20th July 2018